The Saudi Arabian government is opening the borders to let in expat families of Saudi women who have married overseas.
A new directive allows Saudi women to sponsor their families to enter and work in the country, providing they do not pose a national security threat.
The aim is to offer families better stability – especially for Saudi mothers whose husbands have died and who want to bring their children closer to relatives.
Expats married to Saudi women can now live and work in the country under their wife’s sponsorship without applying for a visa.
The government will pay sponsorship fees to encourage expats to move under the scheme and to alleviate financial hardship for widows with children.
The move follows demands from women activists in the kingdom concerned about the fate of families after husbands die.
The new rules are aimed mainly at expat Arabs from Egypt and Yemen, though supporters say the rules should extend to Westerners who marry Saudi women – though this isn’t specifically mentioned in the directive.
UAE jobs for cash scam
Meanwhile, expats and potential emigrants to Canada have been warned about a jobs scam in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The call comes after authorities became aware that some immigration consultants in the UAE are offering Canadian job offers to help visa applications – even though they aren’t licensed to do so.
Canada runs a list of specific job skills need by expats. To gain a working visa, an expat must have a valid job offer from a Canadian company on entering the country.
The Canadian immigration authority regularly deports expats who have arrived in the country without a job offer, regardless of their skills.
This has led to a growing but illegal job offer service being offered via UAE immigration advisors.
Disappointed and deported
Many would-be expats spend thousands of pounds using the illegal service to travel to Canada, only to find the bogus offer is detected and they are sent straight back home.
Canadian firms have to prove they have tried extensively to recruit locally before they are allowed to bring in expat workers.
Now immigrant advisors in the UAE are linking up with employment consultants in Canada and trying to create falsified job offers for UAE nationals wanting to emigrate.
Canada is the number one destination for UAE emigrants though many stumble at passing the English language requirements for a visa.